Arson suspected after fire destroys German Concordia Club in Saskatoon

Firefighters had to lay hoses across train tracks to a hydrant one kilometre away as they tried in vain to stop a suspicious blaze that destroyed a popular Saskatoon social and cultural club.

SASKATOON — Firefighters had to lay hoses across train tracks to a hydrant one kilometre away as they tried in vain to stop a suspicious blaze that destroyed a popular Saskatoon social and cultural club.

Investigators say there were multiple fires burning when emergency crews arrived late Tuesday night at the decades-old German Concordia Club, which is just outside the city limits.

It took firefighters more than three hours to control the flames, which could be seen for several blocks.

Firefighters were forced to string hoses to the distant water supply because there is no hydrant near the club — a move which brought train traffic on the rail line to a halt.

Officials say firefighting efforts were also hampered by a natural gas line at the scene that had ignited, forcing crews to bring in a backhoe to help turn off the gas.

The damage estimate is around $1 million for the club, which has about 300 members.